On October the 4th I played the Maze with We Shall Overcome….I then had other priorities to deal with for six months and now finally I picking up the pieces of Chalk Pit Rattle…..it will be available at this year’s Kimberley Jam on June 16th in retro cassette format with all proceeds going to the Ryan Lee Cancer Trust …
Before trailer Star ( Born and died 2001 by the way) I had a brief period as a ‘serious’ singer songwriter. Most seriously whilst in Scotland in 1994-6.
I and my then partner Ana from Zaragoza got on a train and moved to Edinburgh in August 1994.
It was a spur of the moment idea and we then lived there for two pretty gruelling years in which we lived in a very small three room flat at 62 Causewayside , off of The Meadows.
Edinburgh was a fantastic place to be but the work situation for a Spanish nanny and a penniless English artist less good. I was working as a temp in a share-dealing bank on Black Monday which I will never forget as people started crying as their mortgages doubled in an hour. In that financial climate we were at the bottom of the heap.
After two years I said enough and we moved back to Oxford but not before I had a pretty serious go at being a ‘serious’ singer-songwriter. I remember competing in a Edinburgh Songwriters event and of course had met many poets and contributed to the second Shore Poets anthology.
I had forgotten that I had actually recorded two ‘albums’ of songs as well whilst north of the border on a 4-track Fostex tape recorder until yesterday when I found them by chance.
In the mid 1980’s a friend heard me sing ‘Man with no name’ another track on this tape. He said at the time that I was putting my poetry to music and I ignored him..looking back he was spot on the same themes emerge time and again. Perhaps this is my best poetry..I certainly think this works..whatever it…….
Inspired by Seamus Heaney and James Simmons.. Guy Clark and John Prine ……
Planned to be released as number 5 in a horseshoe tapes release schedule I am finally going to do just that 21 years later! Listening to the tapes they sound better than I remembered and I had actually filled out the sound through multi-tracking more than I expected. A few of the tracks went on to form the ‘Suit of Nettles’ art release in 2008 and also appear sung by a variety of artists on the Moon Over The Downs charity tribute cd to Trailer Star from 2003.
All alternate versions and collaborations available to listen to on my songwriting blog here :
The release will be physically available as a set of two cds or a c90 cassette double and accompanying digital download. I hope to have cassettes ready by end of February along with the still to be completed Chalk Pit Rattle which will be re-recorded
Back in March I confidently decided I would produce a new album in a month..then it was two months..then it was by the Kimberely Jam which is this Saturday. I fully intended to also make some cassette versions and will still try BUT it looking like a tall order with three days to go. Like the previous post life has got in the way and not all of it good life….
However here the tracks I done as demos on soundcloud and we will see if can add a few before Kimberley.
It might be a Chalk Pit Rattle but it ain’t Trailer’s death rattle..not yet anyway.
As part of revamping and relaunching Trailer Star Records I discovered this little gem from 1993.
I honestly thought I was the Berkshire Guy Clark or Micky Newbury when I sent this off to record lables with the press pack below….
I was young and in love and broke as usual….recorded entirely on a half-broken Fostex on the top floor of a seedy bedsit in Hammersmith West London.
Hence the Londinium references throughout….
The tape got one reply from the head honcho at EMI publishing ( George Michael etc etc ) Surprised to get this….
Oh well I liked it , here liked it then and still like it now. I think it my best bunch of songs ever.
Original cassette sleeve art
Track ‘City of stars’ renamed ‘Big City Nights’ on re-release CD
Listen through Bandcamp – go to website to download
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Originally released 1993 as a Horseshoe Tape
‘LAST FARMER OF RATTLEDOWN ROW’ – 1993 Horseshoe Tape (HS 003)
Here’s the Press Pack I made in 1993….
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I am working on two concurrent recording projects.
1. Barns and Stars. Songs 2005 – 2006
when completed will be added as a player above.
Secondly as part of the Horseshoe Tapes archive series I also finishing off
2. Black Tin Barns – Songs 1996
Originally recorded direct to an old AKAI reel to Reel in Oxford. I am transferring the tracks to my T.O.A. 8-track cassette then to minidisc and digitised versions. Maybe finished by Xmas.
The first Horseshoe Tapes archive is playable HERE ‘Orange Capri’ HS003 from 1993
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Horseshoe Tapes 005
1. PRODIGAL SON
2. BLACK TIN BARNS
3. TWO RIVERS MEET
4. ROOM 22
5. THE ROAD IS A RIVER
6. MY LITTLE TOWN
7. RAIN POURS THROUGH THE ROOF
8. THESE THREE ROOMS
9. BALLAD OF THE ORANGE TREE
10. DEVIL’S ADDRESS
11. THE FACTORY
12. MY FATHER’S TREES
13. RAIN COMING DOWN
14. THE LYNTON AND LYNMOUTH FLOOD
15. WISHING FIELD
16. BACK OF BEYOND
full lyrics here